Fans get inside look at the Wilson Football factory

Workers at the Wilson Football Factory in Ada, Ohio have worked at the factory, some as long as 40 years.

The factory in Ada has a somewhat mystical hold on football fans, and the NFL Fan Experience brought the factory to San Francisco.

Each step of the pain-staking, handcrafted experience was laid out in full view.

The first step, the panels are stitched together and that's Cheryl Crisenbery's job.

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“I do about 150 balls a day, all year round,” Crisenbery said.

That's step one, then the footballs move on to Wes Gilroy.

“When they give it to me I put it  in the steam box warm it up a little bit then I go over here to the turning bar and turn it right side out,” Gilroy said.

Then it’s on to Pamela Boutwells station where the bladder is inserted and the ball is hand stitched.

“They've gotta be the same width we call it a ladder that goes down the middle,” Boutwells said.

Finally inflation and the most important step, the inspection.

 “Making sure they have nice pebble like it’s kind of rough look at the ends make sure they're nice and square look at the stamping make sure the laces are nice and straight,” Pam Clark said.

It’s an exhausting process but it’s the only way the Wilson factory does business.

 “The ball has to be sewn by hand turned by hand laced up by hand we're working with leather your hands tell you when to pull when to stop pulling,” Dan Riegle said.

All the effort is worth it. The proudest moment for plant manager Riegle is when his football is kicked off on Super Bowl Sunday.

“How good can that be that that ball came from our factory when all these hand craftsmen put that ball together,” Riegle said. 

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